Clear Sky: How Much Does It Cost to Make Clouds Over Moscow Disappear?

Will you enjoy the good weather on the holiday, if you find out how much it costs?

The Moscow authorities will spend almost 200 million rubles to disperse the clouds on November 4 and 7 holidays. In Moscow, they like good weather: in the capital, they regularly clear the sky and spend a lot of money from the state budget on that. Dispersing clouds is one of the main expenses at the city events. Ekaterina Arenina calculated how much the clean sky costs to authorities of the capital.


On November 1, Interfax referring to public procurement datasaid: the Moscow authorities will spend 196 million rubles to disperse the clouds during the festivities on November 4 and 7. About ten AN-12, AN-26 and YAK-42 jets will be correcting weather conditions on those days.

However, it is unclear whether it will be possible to eventually use the budget funds: a little later that same day, director of the Hydrometeorological Center Roman Wilfandr said that the holidays would be warm and dry, the dispersal of the clouds would not be required.

Recently, Moscow has stopped saving on that part: if earlier clouds were dispersed only on Victory Day and on the City Day, now, both the Student Festival and May 1 are a sufficient cause. Clouds in Moscow were dispersed quite recently: on October 14, during the carnival parade opening the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students. Nine airplanes prevented bad weather for 98 million rubles.

Clear sky is a serious expense item of the capital budget. In 2017, authorities had to spend 684.6 million rubles on good weather: 293 million rubles for "May" and June 12, 196 million for "November", another same amount for the festival of students and the City Day.

Clear sky is a serious expense item in the capital’s budget. In 2017, the authorities had to spend 684.6 million rubles on good weather: 293 million rubles for the May holidays and June 12, 196 million for the November holidays, and the same amount for the Student Festival and the City Day.

Dispersal of clouds is the second largest expenditure item in the budgets of city holidays. In 2017, good weather cost the capital 97.4 million rubles on the City Day. The only thing that was more was the organization of the festive events, for which 229.9 million rubles were allocated.

The cost of good weather for holidays in Moscow

In 2016, to get the clear sky on May 9, 86 million rubles were spent. Approximately the same amount was spent on May 1 and June 12, for the City Day - 88.6 million each. In 2015, the dispersal for four holidays (May 9, May 24 - Day of Slavic Writing and Culture, June 12 and City Day) cost the Department of Housing and Communal Services of Moscow 429.9 million, that is, 107.4 million per day, while in 2014, as noted by the lawyer of the Anti-Corruption Fund, Lyubov Sobol, the dispersal cost only 56.5 million rubles per day.

In 2012, the dispersal for the City Day cost 64 million rubles. On May 9, 2011, the clouds were dispersed for 50 million rubles. In 2010, the authorities promised to spend 45 million on the Victory Day and 25 million on dispersal on the Russia Day, in 2009 - 65 million rubles.


The Victory Day in 2017 promised to be large-scale: more than 509 million rubles were planned to be spent for the celebration, of which almost 98 million were used to disperse the clouds with the use of nine An-12 and one Yak-42 aircrafts. In total, the dispersal on Victory Day, May 1 and June 12, cost the city almost 300 million rubles.

On May 9, more than 10,000 people were to march on Red Square, a concert of Viktor Zinchuk and Sarah Brightman was planned by the Christ the Savior Cathedral for more than ten million rubles, 114 military vehicles were to pass through Red Square, and the air parade promised to present 72 planes and helicopters.

However, in 2017, the spectators of the parade failed to see the promised show: despite the millions spent to disperse the clouds, the weather did not okay. The Ministry of Defense decided to cancel the parade. The Agency of Atmospheric Technologies, responsible for the dispersal, stated that it did not set itself the task to achieve a “cloudless sky” and explained that it was possible to ensure the absence of clouds only under the simplest weather conditions, which did not occur on May 9.

For its work on May 9, the agency received an advance of 30%, the rest of the amount of the company had to be paid after May 31; in fact, instead of 293 million for May 1, May 9 and June 12, 2017 the Agency received 209 million rubles. The reason for the termination of the contract on the site of state purchases is indicated as the “circumstances that do not depend on the will of the parties.” At the same time, the company receives 15% of the profit from all works.


Autonomous non-profit organization Agency of Atmospheric Technologies, abbreviated - ATTECH, was established by the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring and a subsidiary company of Rostech called Cheboksary Production Association named after Chapaev. ATTECH, established in 1999, is engaged in “artificial settlement of atmospheric precipitation, scattering clouds and fogs, preventing or interrupting the processes of hail formation, fighting frosts and snow avalanches.”

The Agency of Atmospheric Technologies is one of the oldest contractors of the Moscow authorities: it gets almost all contracts for clearing the sky at the capital's events without a contest (allegedly for emergency reasons).

The cost of dispersal of clouds

The fact that in the contracts of the mayor's office with the ATTECH look sketchy was mentioned even by According to the portal, the company subcontracts part of the works. So, for example, at the holidays in 2017, ATTECH received 6.5 million rubles for each day of the lease of Yak-42, which is leased from the Siberian Research Institute of Aviation named after S.A. Chaplygin (SibNIA) for 6.6 million rubles for both days. In 2013, the subcontract for aircraft maintenance was received by the Center for the Introduction of Methods and Means of Active Interaction “Aqua”, the co-owners of which include ATTECH’s CEO Viktor Korneev.

As follows from the state procurement information, this year on the Day of National Unity and the October Revolution Day, the Agency of Atmospheric Technologies will also be dispersing clouds: the contract with the company was concluded under the terms of a purchase from a single supplier.


In 2015, Deputy Chairman of the Public Chamber Commission on Social Policy, Labor Relations and Quality of Life of Citizens Georgy Fyodorov appealed to the Prosecutor's Office with a request to check the budget for the Moscow City Day, for which over 500 million rubles were spent. Fyodorov was outraged by this amount: he asked to check how the funds were spent, including the clouds dispersal works. There is no information about the results of the check.

In the same year, it was suggested to ban weather “improvements” at all, for reasons of public safety. Member of the State Duma Committee on Health and Deputy of United Russia from the Republic of Adygea Raziet Natkho asked Sobyanin to check whether the reagents used harm the health of citizens. Also, Natkho said that dispersing clouds costs the budget too much “in crisis conditions in the economy of the country.”

At the same time, in other regions, it seems that the clouds do not bother anyone: only one order for “services related to active impacts on meteorological and geophysical processes and phenomena” in 2017 for 5 million rubles in the Republic of Adygea can be found on the state procurement website. The news of such measures was not reported.

In 2010, in St. Petersburg, they decided not to disperse the clouds for the Scarlet Sails: despite the order of then City Governor Valentina Matvienko, the weather forecasters considered that considering Petersburg’s weather conditions the dispersal would not make sense.

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